Sabbath School Lesson Begins

Bible Study Guide - 1st Quarter 2021


“Comfort My People”


Lesson 1December 26–January 1

Crisis of Identity


Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Isa. 1:1-9Isa. 1:10-17Isa. 1:18Isa. 1:19-31Isa. 5:1-7.

Memory Text: “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’ ” (Isaiah 1:18, NKJV).

Isaiah is dealing with the Identity of God and the true expected Identity of the Remnant. They are His people, He reared them, He made them, He led them, He took care of them, and mind you, He will do so until Jesus Comes. That is Isaiah’s message. It stretch from Heaven to earth and back to Heaven and back to the new earth again. All 66 chapters. Not for one moment or in one chapter, is this visionary only describing local history! His eyes is vertical not horizontally fixed. He does not see where he can plagiarize Hittite or Canaanite forms of expression. He does not use what God showed him only in metaphorical figurative hyper linguistic phrases. He is not just psychologically overexcited about his topic and downloading adjectives and superlatives and eternity language just because of that. He saw heaven and he saw the Temple of God in heaven and he saw all these events happening near the eschaton or latter days. There is no need to use Eerdmans, Moody, Kregel and Fortress publishers to try to read the consonantal text of the Masoretic Hebrew on Isaiah. No, Isaiah will lead us to the Identity of Satan, the Identity of ourselves as rebellious, as faithful (like Hezekiah) the Identity of God (who loves us in Isaiah 42), the identity of the remnant as blind and deaf servant, the identity of the Messiah to come in His first coming, the identity of the glorious King to come at the Second Coming, the identity of the victorious King to settle things with evil at Hell in Isaiah 6. He saw the identity of the Advocate in Heaven in the temple of judgment during the Investigative Judgment a number of times. Also in this lesson.

Says R. Gane, “The Judeans forgot that they belonged to the Lord, their heavenly Lord, and thus lost their true identity as the covenant people. “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not understand” (Isa. 1:23, NRSV).

God is in crisis when His remnant walk skew on the path of righteousness and sanctification. It is a big problem when the General Conference said the third time that Woman Ordination is not biblical but NAD and others want to rebel and do their own thing. It is a big problem when culture forces its way over the biblical message by people who fight to be good people in the eyes of the laws of this world instead of the Torah of God.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 2.

Sunday         December 27

Hear, O Heavens! (Isa. 1:1-9)

The book of Isaiah briefly introduces itself by identifying the author (“son of Amoz”), the source of his message (a “vision”), and his topic (Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, during the reign of four kings). The primary audience of Isaiah is more than those of his own day. S. Driver made the mistake in his commentary to lock Isaiah in his own time. Not to with this prophet. He was to become the prophet of all times just like Moses. He was a great reader of Moses’ works and the language are going to be sometimes the same. The tendency to hook Isaiah only in the time continuum of Judean history of kings named in the list is a typical preteristic interpretation of Isaiah by Eerdmans, Moody, Kregel and Fortress Publishing. Adventists should know better.

By mentioning the kings, Isaiah is not narrowing down his audience. Isaiah writes for the people of God in all nations, all languages, all times until the New Earth. No narrowing. Rather widening the audience.

Read Isaiah 1:2. What is the essence of the message here? What is the Lord saying? How has this same idea been seen all through sacred history? Could it be said of the Christian church today, as well? Explain your answer.

Notice how Isaiah’s message begins with the words “Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth” (NRSV; compare Deut. 30:19Deut. 31:28). Some people think that the Lord isn’t implying that heaven and earth, themselves, can hear and understand and that instead, He does it for emphasis. Not so. When the Lord calls heaven and earth as witnesses it is to a court scene. It is to a specific time in 1844 when He will open books and the Investigative Judgment would start with the people of God (1 Peter 4:17) and heavenly unfallen worlds and earthlings like Moses, Henoch and Elijah should stand closer for God is judging His remnant.

Says Gane: “When an ancient Near Eastern king, such as a Hittite emperor, made a political treaty with a lesser ruler, he invoked his gods as witnesses to emphasize that any violation of the agreement would surely be noticed and punished.” How well said. Notice that the gods is called as witnesses in a court scene and the violation is “noticed” in an Investigative Judgment and the “punishment” in an Executive Judgment.  

Read carefully Isaiah 1:1-9. Summarize on the lines below what the sins of Judah [remnant] were. Take special note, also, of the results of those sins. What was Judah [the remnant] guilty of, and what happened because of her guilt? At the same time, what hope is presented in verse 9?